South Asian Public Health Association SAPHA Quarterly Newsletter


In This Issue
2014 SAPHA Board members
Meet the New SAPHA Board of Directors!
Brown Paper 2nd Edition Updates
Spotlight On: SEWA-AIFW
SAPHA Happenings
Quick Links
SAPHA is the premier South Asian-related public health organization in America, in existence since 1999. SAPHA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of South Asians and the communities in which they live in America.
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Become a SAPHA Member! 

We invite you to join us in our work! You can start by becoming an active part of our free listserv, joining and asking your colleagues to join SAPHA as a member, and volunteering to help one of SAPHA's committees. 


Being part of SAPHA is an opportunity to network with other professionals invested in the health of South Asians in the United States and to promote the health of South Asian communities. Be sure to visit our membership page at to get more information on how to become a member of this exciting organization.

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SAPHA is currently seeking dedicated professionals to join one of SAPHA's Committees: 




Membership/ Nominations

Partnerships/Local Groups



SAPHA Committees meet regularly via conference call to discuss how to advance the mission and goals of SAPHA and to better serve the South Asian community. For more information visit SAPHA'S committee's page!

SAPHA 2013 Board Members

Neelum Aggarwal
(Communications Committee Co-Chair)
Nasiya Ahmed
(Communications Committee Co-Chair)
Nitasha Chaudhary- (President
Aparna Badkas
Karishma Dhru-
(Membership Committee Chair)
Nazeera Darwood
(Local Chapters/ Partnership Committee Chair)
Bindu Garapaty (Secretary)
Memoona Hasnain- (Research Committee Chair)
Srilekha Palle-
(Vice President)
Ami Shah-


SAPHA New Logo 

Dear SAPHA Professionals,  

It is our great pleasure to welcome you to the South Asian Public Health Association (SAPHA) Winter 2013 Newsletter! 




Since our last correspondence, we have been busy moving forward with activities for this year. However, most importantly, SAPHA is pleased to announce our new SAPHA Board Members (see below).


Congratulations to all the new and continuing Board Members! Your enthusiasm and experience will undoubtedly serve our community well! We are also extremely thankful to the 2013 SAPHA Board - your dedication and commitment allowed us to continue to be the premier South Asian Organization in the U.S. Specifically, we will miss Nasiya Ahmed, Nitasha Chaudhary and Srilekha Palle. Their unconditional support was tremendous in helping SAPHA move forward with its mission. 


SAPHA 2013 Accomplishments:

  • SAPHA initiated the 2nd edition of the Brown Paper.
  • SAPHA participated in the South Asian Research Initiative in New York City, along with leaders and experts in South Asian health from around the country.
  • SAPHA presented at the San Diego Conference for Service in South Asia.
  • SAPHA continued to work on its membership base through a variety of efforts, including expanding our base of listerv members.
  • SAPHA continued to raise awareness and impact policy by taking on issues related to South Asian public health including highlighting gaps in data and research.
  • SAPHA continued to "telling your story" of the work we do and the commitment we have to advancing our field through a variety of means including engagement with strategic partners, interfacing with various venues, and increasing relationship at the local and national levels.
  • SAPHA continued to publish quarterly e-newsletters highlighting ongoing South Asian-related public health activities, spotlighting both programs and professionals engaged in this work. 

While SAPHA has accomplished a tremendous amount of work in the past, you will note we have much more to do and we want to work with you to help us achieve optimal health for our communities and our field.


What Can YOU do?

In addition to joining a committee, if you have not already done so, please ask your friends/colleagues to join the SAPHA listserv as well as visit our website at, to stay updated on SAPHA related-happenings. You can now also stay updated with SAPHA's activities on Facebook.


We invite you to join us in meeting our common goal of improving the health of South Asians and the communities in which they live in America - let's continue to move forward!!


Thank you


SAPHA Board 2013

Meet the New SAPHA Board of Directors!    



Please join us in welcoming the new 2014 SAPHA Board of Directors! This new and exciting Board includes diverse professionals with backgrounds that will undoubtedly help move SAPHA forward.


The following new Board members will serve a two-year term from 2014-2016:

  • Punam Parikh Modha, MPH - Research Project Manager, University of California Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Yasin Patel, MPH - Presidential Management Fellow (Bethesda, MD)
  • Dhara Thakar, PhD - Assistant Professor, Erikson Institute (Chicago, IL)

The following 2013 SAPHA Board of Directors will continue their term into 2014:

  • Neelum Aggarwal, MD 
  • Aparna Badkas, B. Th.O, OTR, CYI
  • Nazeera Dawood, MD, MPH 
  • Bindu Garapaty, Psy.D
  • Karishma Dhru, CHES
  • Memoona Hasnain, MD, MHPE, PhD
  • Ami Shah, MPH

For complete bios of all our Board members, please visit

Brown Paper 2nd Edition Updates

The SAPHA Research Committee has been hard at work recruiting authors for the Brown Paper 2nd edition for the past year. Public health professionals from all over the country have come together to volunteer their time and contribute their expertise on a variety of topics to create the newest edition of the Brown Paper

The Brown Paper 2nd Edition will be a much needed update to the groundbreaking Brown Paper 1st Edition, first published in 2002. The compendium will again evaluate and summarize the most current knowledge and key health indicators for South Asian Americans. The included chapters will make recommendations for policymakers, health care providers, and community outreach workers. If you have any questions regarding the Brown Paper, please contact You can currently access the complete Brown Paper 1st edition online by clicking here.


Spotlight On: SEWA-AIFW: Asian Indian Family Wellness

SEWA-AIFW partnered with the Center for Applied Research and Educational Im-provement (CAREI) and Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) at the Uni-versity of Minnesota as well as other local South Asian Community organizations to conduct a South Asian Health Survey in Minnesota (Project SAHAT).
The purpose of the survey was to gain a better understanding of the health disparities and health needs of the South Asian community in Minnesota. For more information regarding the results of the study, please visit:
The Masala Study - Mediators of Atherosclerosis in South Asians Living in America 

The MASALA study aims to identify what factors lead to heart disease in South Asians, as this group of individuals have a higher rate of cardiovascular disease that is not explained by the more commonly known risk factors, such as high blood pressure or smoking. 

The study aims to: 
1) Determine risk factors for cardiovascular disease in South Asian Americans by measuring traditional, social, cultural, behavioral, and other newer types of risk factors. 
2) Determine whether South Asians have a higher rate of suspected, but undetected, heart disease compared to Whites, African Americans, Latinos and Chinese Americans. 
3) Measure the early stages of heart disease to give us important information about how the disease develops. 

Heart disease is still the number one cause of death worldwide, and South Asians account for 60% of the world's heart disease patients. MASALA is the first long-term study of South Asians in the world and hopes to provide opportunities to explore newer emerging risk factors for heart disease. 
SAPHA Happenings

Join a SAPHA Committee!

Our committees meet via conference call once a month or less to discuss how to improve those areas to help promote the work of SAPHA and advocate for our members. We also hope that by participating in a committee, it will help you in your professional goals!


Please note that you have to be a Supporting member of SAPHA ($30 annual dues) to be eligible to participate in a committee. For more information or if you are interested, please click on a committee above to email the committee chair. SAPHA's success depends on the commitment and hard work of it's committees!


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